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Rubbed Kale Salad with Parmesan

5 from 1 rating

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Rubbed kale salad: a simple, seven ingredient salad that will banish your winter blues and help you get ready for summer.

Rubbed Kale Salad with Parmesan-4
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I am ready for summer! The warm sunshine, the dry hot days, and the endless supplies of deliciously fresh, in-season produce at the grocery. Not the stuff grown in hot houses that looks like fresh vegetables, but the real, grown in the sun and washed in the rain in-season produce.

Winter does have it’s place, and by the time we get to August I’ll be wishing for some relief, but for now I’m over the damp and chill. I’m ready for something different and that starts with my diet.

If you are anything like me, the cold weather makes you reach for warming comfort foods like Shepherd’s PieChicken Pot Pie, and Lasagna Rolls. However, by the time March gets here, all I want is a salad. This salad.

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Winter is kale season. It thrives during cold months, which means it not only tastes great this time of year, but it also makes for the perfect winter salad. This version is super simple, calling for seven ingredients including the dressing from scratch. It makes a great standalone lunch, or can be paired with salmon, chicken, or steak for a more hearty meal.

When using kale in it’s raw form, you have to make sure to remove the stems from the leaves. The stems are very fibrous and can taste bitter in a salad. They are fine if you are cooking or juicing the kale, but in a salad the taste and texture can be off-putting. As you rip the kale into smaller pieces for the salad, pull off as much of the stem as you can.

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I used 4 cups of packed kale for one serving of this salad. When the kale was loose in the measuring cup it came all the way to the top. Since the kale gets more relaxed once it’s dressed I packed it down to get a better idea of how much would be left when it’s time to serve.

Kale, being a hearty green, will keep you fuller longer but unless you want to spend all day chewing your salad it’s best to soften that kale up a bit. Once you have your kale torn up, add the olive oil and give it a massage. Yes, a massage.

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Rubbing the kale with the oil makes sure all the leaves are coated evenly and relaxes the fibers resulting in a softer more palatable salad. You will notice that the volume of kale is reduced after you rub it down and the leaves will appear almost translucent in some spots.

Next add the vinegar, pepper, salt, and celery seed, tossing to combine. Serve it garnished with the shaved parmesan. You can buy shaved parmesan, or you can use your vegetable peeler to shave pretty strips from a block of cheese like I did here. I was tempted to add croutons, but my pantry was out and this salad is delicious either way.

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What is your favorite winter salad recipe? Have you ever made a rubbed kale salad at home? Let me know in the comments below!

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Rubbed Kale Salad with Parmesan

Rubbed Kale Salad with Parmesan-4

Rubbed Kale Salad with Parmesan

Rubbed kale salad: a simple, seven ingredient salad that will banish your winter blues and help you get ready for summer.
5 from 1 rating
prep: 10 minutes
total: 10 minutes
servings: 1 large salad


  • 4 cups kale
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of celery seed
  • parmesan cheese


  • Rip kale into bite sized pieces, removing the stems as you go.
  • Drizzle the olive oil onto the kale. Rub the olive oil into the kale, softening the leaves and ensuring all leaves are coated.
  • Drizzle on vinegar, sprinkle on pepper, salt, and celery seed. Toss to combine.
  • Serve garnished with parmesan cheese.

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Serving: 1Calories: 402kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 19gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 1827mgFiber: 11gSugar: 8g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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3 Comments on “Rubbed Kale Salad with Parmesan”

  1. I agree, by March I have had enough of the heavy food. This salad looks perfect for then or even now as a starter to a lighter meal.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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